West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science


Project Description:
Students researched, planned, planted, and maintained a community garden of native species and locally cultivated species. The heritage garden idea was selected based on the needs of the new elementary building infrastructure. The garden features native plants that help provide habitat and collect rainwater from the school campus. Students in grades preK-12th grade learned about native plants, rain gardens, and natural landscaping through this garden area. One feature that was highlighted is seed saving and the importance of maintaining a variety of plants. Classes also added native plants to the used the campus' existing five-acre prairie and will harvest the seeds to grow more native plants in the prairie.

The garden will be featured as an educational tool for the school's environmental science classes (PreK-12th) and annual summer camp programs to teach our students, families, and community about environmental and watershed issues. Since the garden is located right next the front entrance of the school, students have enhanced the area with a sign, allowing visitors to stop and smell the wildflowers while learning the importance of native plants.

Fostering Lifelong Stewardship:
Students have deepened their stewardship habits through connecting to the school prairie and to the native garden.

Partners:
Kent Conservation District, Plaster Creek Stewards

Teachers:
4

Students:
250

Funder:
Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative